7 Tips to Prevent a Cyber Hack for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Cyber Attacks Happen Every Day 

Every day there’s a cybercriminal hacking a company. The news is flooded with new victims. Most people turn a blind eye until it happens to them.

Unfortunately, hackers target all types of businesses whether they be big or small. Why? Data is always useful. A mildly knowledgeable hacker can sell any information they obtain to organizations or individuals on the dark web for a good price.

Many leading companies from all over the world were affected by the Wipro data breach, for example.

Even the most loved, trusted, and popular companies in the U.S. have been hacked. From renowned Arizona Beverage Company, to large Fortune 500 financial firms have become victims of cyber-attacks.

Furthermore, every company, no matter the industry, is at risk. From e-commerce, retailers, healthcare manufacturing, financial services, and managed service providers.

Then again, what does that mean for small and medium sized businesses?  How can my business survive?

Some businesses cannot survive the risk of being hacked at any level. The productivity time lost, the employee morale plummets, possible litigation issues, lost revenue and the most valuable asset loss – clients’ trust. Luckily, there are steps that small and medium sized businesses can take when it comes to cyber-security.

1. Employee training 

Most cyber hacks happen because of phishing. Basically a fancy word for an impostor. In Miami, unfortunately, these types of scams are the norm.

One solution is quarterly or biannual IT Security presentations and assessments. Let’s be honest, most employees find this boring but it needs to be done. Better late than never.

2. Evaluate your current cyber security

Taking stock of the current state of your cyber security is imperative. Knowing where your company stands is the best way of knowing what’s lacking.

3. Set Deadlines and Objectives 

Incentivize employees and set a deadline to complete this assessment. Make clear that this is mandatory.

4. Two Factor Authentication and routine password changes 

We recommend password changes every 30 days with specific requirements. If not you could be exposed to various forms of social engineering.

5. Look out for common phishing signs such as :

  • Grammatical errors, ex. AIIG vs AIG
  • Being asked to disclose personal or confidential email
  • Unknown company or sender
  • Too good to be true, FREE Services / Products
  • Check the URL
  • Sometimes the sender is someone that you know! Check, Check the URL

6. Updating Software

The software used by your company should be the most recent version. The older the applications, the more susceptible they are to attacks like zero-day vulnerability. A zero-day vulnerability is essentially a flaw in the software or hardware that creates problems before anyone realizes it.

These attacks on zero-day vulnerabilities can lead to stolen information, breached networks and cause serious damage. However, managed IT services companies like Nerds Support automatically install new updates on all hosted apps. This is done to avoid vulnerabilities that arise from neglecting updates. Network security hacks can take a toll on a business and, in the worst of cases, ruin it completely.

7. Be Careful on Social Media 

Yes, social media. Hackers use this to try and guess your password. Example – Most people use their birthday, anniversary, or important events in their password. This is how a lot of celebrities get hacked.

8. Monitoring Systems at all times

A cyber attacker can come from anywhere. A cyber-attack can happen anytime. There is security software available that alerts you to any suspicious activity. Managed service providers assist in delivering additional support in the form of security analysis. This helps track data that indicates an attack is underway. They can also monitor and track around the clock.

9. Record your phone calls 

Sometimes a hacker might call and disguise as an IT tech, colleague, or partner to gather information and target the company. By recording the call you can refer back to the original target. Using a managed IT Services provider, we will secure your information and act as your very own IT team.

10. Partner with the right Managed IT firm 

Ask questions, do your due diligence. A trusted managed IT services provider should provide references, recommendations and truly understand your needs. Try partnering with a partner that has experience in your industry and has good referrals. We encourage our prospective clients to visit current clients.
Some questions to ask include:

  • What verticals are you experts on?
  • Are your engineers certified? What certifications do they have?
  • How long have you been in business ? And do you use what you sell
  • What is the SLA ? How do you honor it?
  • Can we speak to current clients ?

Make IT a Priority 

Identifying basic security threats is the first initiative when dealing with cyber-attacks. Taking care of your systems is much the same as taking care of your body, it’s mostly about preventing than treating. All businesses regardless of size have sensitive data they acquire from clients, vendors, employees etc. The unfortunate reality is not many businesses take cyber threats seriously.

Wanting to focus on core business goals is natural but doing so at the expense of your business’s security can be negligent. There is a cyber-attack every 39 seconds, according to a Clarke school study at the University of Virginia.

Cybercrime Will Increase Within Five Years 

In the next five years the world will see a rise in cyber-crime. It may become the greatest threat not only to businesses, but to individuals also. Technology will continue to advance, grow, spread and become commonplace. As it takes on a greater role in the way we interact with one another on both a micro and macro scale, there will also be those trying to exploit its weaknesses for profit or benefit

Instead of lamenting the death of the old days, embrace this new reality. Invest in technologies, technology, training and education to get ahead of the curb.

Every generation has its innovators and its criminals. If you cannot stop progress you must learn to thrive in it.

The Cheapest Option for IT is not always the Best

The old saying is true…. You get what you pay for. When it comes to IT Services, oftentimes, the cheaper route is not the answer. Investing in the right team is imperative. One hack and your company can be out of business and never recover. As reported by CNBC , the cost of a cyber-attack is over 20k for a small business and about 63 percent have already been hacked.

With Nerds Support, you get a team full of Microsoft certified engineers that have gone through a vigorous hiring process. We have the procedures in place so you never have to worry about a cyber-hack or data breach, which means Nerd Support does the worrying for you.

Helping small and medium sized businesses with their IT needs is our purpose. As your IT Consulting partner, we will secure your information and act as your very own IT team.

You deserve the best team there is. Leave it to Nerds Supports to help you increase productivity, secure your information and handle all IT hiccups.

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